[Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong]
No matter how many times I hear it, I am amazed at people who complain about how many trailers precede a movie. Most theaters have 20 minutes of commercials and expanded "behind the scenes" of upcoming movies. I never hear a peep out of patron about how many times they get to answer a silly film trivia question or how often they get to figure out the movie title word jumbles. But when the movie doesn't start at exactly the time advertised, I get to endure the grumbles of the guy behind me about how many trailers he needs to sit through before the movie starts. Did I miss the memo that trailers were no longer being played? I didn't think so!
SYNOPSIS: Dave Lizewski, a geeky high-schooler decides you do not need super powers in order to be a 'super hero" and help people in the community. As Kick-Ass, he gains popularity, inspires others to become heroes, and attracts the attentions of the local drug boss.
Based on Mark Millar's and John Romita Jr.'s well-received comic series, Kick-Ass!, Director Matthew Vaughn brings it to life on the big screen. Keeping faithful to the original paneled story (for the most part), we follow high school loser Dave as he poses the question to his comic book buddies "Why hasn't someone tried to be a super hero in the real world?". And to his credit, he actually looks for the answer.
We are treated to a cross between "Spider-man" and "Kill Bill". We get a movie length narrative from Kick-Ass himself (Aaron Johnson) more snarky and philosophical than Peter Parker ever was. Kick-Ass is more enduring as a hero character than others. He was not bitten by a radioactive spider, not bathed in cosmic rays, no access to gadgets, no vast monetary resources, but he has something most of us should have - spirit and purpose.
As for the "Kill Bill" reference, we get phenomenal fight scenes riddled with bullets, blades and choreography. Layered on top of that is a pretty cool soundtrack. Chloe Moretz's Hit Girl steals the show with her innocent looks, dirty mouth and dirtier fighting skills. And Nicolas Cage's Big Daddy pays a hilarious homage to 60s television Adam West's Batman with his cadenced and clipped dialogue. Of course, every heroic story is only as good as the villain. Mark Strong delivers on that front, as crime boss Frank D'Amico. Even Christopher Mintz-Plasse from "Super Bad" semi-sheds his McLovin vibe as Frank's son.
As a fan of the genre, I found "Kick-Ass" excelled in the ass-kicking department, and above average in the hero motivation department. Great power, great responsibility, blah, blah, blah... I was much more interested in watching the birth of a hero when he is just like me. "Spider-man" may provide the spectacle, but "Kick-Ass" provides the heart.
Worth: Matinee and DVD